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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 17:04, May 23, 2007
China constructs space information "highway"
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China will construct a spatial information system which is composed of 60 to 70 satellites, and will launch the "Chang'e 1" lunar orbiting spacecraft in the second half of this year.

China constructs Compass Navigation Satellite System (Beidou 1)

Zhang Weiqing, General Manager of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, and Chairman of the Chinese Society of Astronautics said on the 16th that China will establish a spatial information system, composed of 60 to 70 satellites, during the "11th Five-Year Plan" period (2006-2010), so as to better serve the nation's economic and social development.

Satellite R&D shifts from experiments to services

Zhang Qingwei said that the spatial information system will include communication and broadcasting satellites, earth resource satellites, meteorological satellites, navigation satellites, scientific experiment satellites, and so on. Next year, China will launch three small satellites for environmental monitoring and disaster prediction. It also plans to launch another four satellites of similar type in another 2-3 years to come, so as to provide large-scale, 24-hour monitoring, prediction and assessment of the state of ecological damage, environmental pollution and natural disasters; and improve China's comprehensive capacity for disaster reduction and environment protection.

After attending the 11th Pacific Rim International Symposium on Space, which was jointly hosted by the Chinese Society of Astronautics, the American Astronautical Society and the Japanese Rocket Society, Zhang stated that China is shifting from using satellites for experiments to providing real services.

China will develop nearly 100 spacecrafts during "11th Five-Year Plan"

Ma Xingrui, Vice President of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, disclosed at the China International Aviation and Aerospace Forum, that during the "11th Five-Year Plan" period, China will develop nearly 100 spacecrafts, including communications and broadcasting satellites, earth resource satellites, retrievable satellites, meteorological satellites, navigation satellites and scientific experiment satellites.

Ma added that China is developing a new generation of satellites, including the Feng Yun 3 Polar Orbiting Meteorological Satellite and the Feng Yun 4 Geo-static Orbiting Meteorological Satellite. This series of satellites will enhance China's capabilities in the prevention of major disasters, monitoring and emergency response. In addition, the country is also making endeavors to develop ZY-1 2B, 03 and 04 satellites. They will be widely used in agriculture, forestry, water resources, minerals, marine life, disaster reduction, environmental protection, as well as urban planning and management, and mapping of areas. The Marine 2 satellite, which is under development, will conduct comprehensive surveys of winds, wave fields, wave height, the ocean's gravitational field, ocean circulation and sea surface temperature.

"Chang'e 1" to be launched in the second half of this year

Ouyang Ziyuan, the chief scientist of China's lunar exploration program said on May 16th that so far the satellite, rocket, launch site and ground control of the program are ready and the "Chang'e 1" will be launched in the second half of this year. During the second phase of this program, China will launch a soft landing device and a lunar rover. The first will do site exploration and the second will conduct an inspection.

China has attracted much attention from space experts in different countries since it announced the three-phase "Chang'e Project" as its first lunar exploration program. Ouyang Ziyuan for the first time disclosed the launch time to the public.

The satellites, rockets, ground-based monitoring, launch site and the ground data receiving devices are all ready, Ouyang said, and China can fulfill its mission in the second half of this year.

The orbit design for the "Change 1" lunar exploration satellite has been completed. After the satellite enters the geosynchronous orbit, it will complete a flight of 380,000 km with the help of multistage propulsion, and then, enter the orbit of the moon. 122 experts from 80 universities and research institutes will form the committee of lunar exploration and study the data received from the "Chang'e 1" during its one-year flight.

Ouyang Ziyuan said, "We will draw a three-dimensional map of the moon, map out the distribution of more than 10 elements on the moon, measure the thickness of lunar surface soil, and monitor the space environment outside the moon."

He also added that China will use Long March 3A carrier rockets to send its first lunar exploration satellite "Chang'e 1" into the space. The entire launch will be completed at the Xichang Satellite Launching Center.

By People's Daily Online

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